I'M A BAD AUTHOR. I'M SORRY! IT'S BEEN FOREVER, I KNOW. BUT HERE IS THE END! ENJOY:

Disclaimer: Snyder probably wouldn't leave you hanging for so long. Sorry!

"I'm leaving in an hour."

"Thank Fate."

"Will you miss me?"

"No."

"Not even a little bit?"

"No."

"How about my kids?"

"…Not really."

"You're a jerk."

"Thanks."

"Will you come visit me?"

"No."

"Will you at least respond to my letters?"

"No."

"Will you respond to any of my questions in the affirmative?"

"No."

"I'm going to run you over with my carriage before I leave."

"I'd like to see you try."

Vivian looked up from her last minute packing and grinned at Valek. He sat casually on her bed, reading reports and refusing to help her in any manner. "What is it like, being such a big jerk?" She asked, mindful of her language since her children were sleeping nearby.

"Quite exciting, actually." Valek replied without looking up. "Where is Cai?"

"Saying goodbye to the Commander, he didn't want to come out in public so we're saying goodbye beforehand."

"Can you say goodbye to me beforehand too?" Valek asked hopefully.

Vivian threw a statue at Valek's head. "No." She glared.

Valek caught the statue with ease and began inspecting it, looking for chips or cracks.

Out of nowhere, a pillow smashed into the back of his head. "Haha!" Vivian crowed. "I got you!"

Valek rolled his eyes. "I let you get me. I've found that you become marginally more bearable after winning petty childish games."

Vivian snorted. "Yeah right. You wouldn't have let me done that the last time I visited."

"That's because some people mature over time, Vivian. I realize this is a hard concept for you to grasp, as you've never matured, but rest assured, I have." Valek said, pretentiously.

Vivian rolled her eyes and was about to respond when Cai came bursting into the room. "Are you packed, dear lady?" He asked and bowed at Vivian, who was sitting on the floor.

"Yes. Please take those two pieces of luggage to the carriage and try not to wake them up." She pointed to her kids.

"Ok." Cai grinned and toss his children over his shoulders, effectively waking both up.

Chiara started screaming and crying immediately while Ayden slowly woke up and squirmed for his father to put him down. Vivian glared at her husband. "Cai…" She said dangerously.

Cai looked at his wife guiltily. "Sorry! I didn't think they would wake up."

Valek snorted. "You threw your children over your shoulders; almost letting them topple to the ground, and expected them to stay asleep?"

"You're not helping my case." Cai glared at Valek.

"I'm not trying to." Valek shot back.

Vivian sighed and cut in. "Cai, please give Chiara to me and put all the other luggage in the carriage. Take Ayden with you. He can nap in the carriage." She gestured for Ayden to follow his father.

"Are you sure you can trust Cai with Ayden?" Valek asked.

"Yes, Ayden is his heir. I'm not giving Cai another one." Vivian closed the last bag and hoisted Chiara on her hip, trying to rock the little girl to sleep. "Valek, please bring this bag to the carriage." She said and walked out.

Valek effortlessly lifted the bag and wandered off to find Yelena so they could say goodbye together. Once he had dropped off the bag and gathered Yelena, he stood off to the side and watched as the soldiers mounted their horses and readied the carriage.

"Should we ask them if they need help?" Yelena suggested.

"No." Valek said, leaning against the wall.

Yelena giggled and rolled her eyes. "Okay."

After everything was put away and the guards had formed their ring around the royal carriage, Vivian and Cai approached Valek and Yelena.

"Alright, so this is goodbye." Vivian sighed. "I'll miss you guys." She hugged Yelena tightly. "Please be patient when Valek cries himself to sleep for the next few weeks. As much as he likes to pretend he's tough, we both know he's just a big piece of bread dough." She smirked.

Valek crossed his arms and refused to give Vivian a hug. "I am not a piece of bread dough. Of all the things to compare me to…Have you gotten so sad you've lost your mind?"

Vivian hugged Valek through his crossed arms. "I was simply trying to imply that you're soft and mushy. I mean, now that you're getting older, some of that muscle is turning into fat." She said innocently.

"None of my muscle is turning into fat!" Valek growled, flexing his arms. "Feel my bicep and tell me that's fat." He challenged.

Vivian shrugged and lightly pressed into his arms with three fingers. "Seems squishy to me." She said and turned to Cai. "Are you ready to go?"

Cai, who had been staring at the sky with his mouth slightly open, startled when she spoke to him. "I'm sorry, what? I mean, yes, of course. Goodbye!" He waved to Yelena and Valek.

As they were walking away, Vivian turned to Cai and asked very seriously. "Is Ayden in the carriage? I plan on riding outside and he wasn't in there when I put Chiara in her seat."

"Yes, he must be in there." Cai said blithely. "He was probably hiding under the seats when you went in."

Vivian narrowed her eyes. "And what will happen if he's not in there?" She asked.

Cai rolled his eyes. "Don't worry, he's there. I promise."

Vivian pursed her lips and nodded. She turned around one last time as she mounted her horse and waved goodbye to Valek and Yelena.

Once they were gone, Valek let out a sigh of relief. "Finally." He groaned and stretched his neck. "I was beginning to think they would never leave."

Yelena simply smiled. "You know it's okay to admit you are going to miss them." She told him, raising her eyebrows slightly.

"As if." Valek scoffed. "The only one I even minutely liked was Ayden."

And as though his words had summoned the little boy, Ayden came running through the gates, yelling, "MAE! MAE!"

Valek's eyes widened as he processed what was before him. Vivian and Cai were gone and Ayden had been left behind. Stupid Cai!

"Oh, no! We have to catch up to them!" Yelena, scooped Ayden in her arms, the little boy had begun crying when he saw all the soldiers were gone along with his parents. "Don't worry. We are going to get you home." She cooed at him.

Valek ordered one of the servants to ready his horse and as soon as he was seated on it with Ayden sitting in front of him, Yelena pointed to the distance. "Look! You may not have to go, Valek, it looks like someone is coming back."

Valek leaned forward and squinted. As soon as he saw who it was, he slouched back with a groan. "Really? Vivian sent Cai to get Ayden. Of all the people!" He quickly dismounted and pointed out Cai to Ayden. "Look, your eternally useless father is back!" He said with false excitement.

Ayden clapped happily, not understanding what Valek just said. Valek sighed. It seemed that stupidity was quickly becoming a family trait.

As soon as Cai reached them, Valek thrust Ayden into his arms. "Here is your forgotten luggage. I was afraid I'd have to come after you." He said coldly.

Cai kneeled over, trying to catch his breath. "Thanks. Hey, can I have some water? Vivian made me run all the way over here as punishment."

Valek narrowed his eyes. "No. But you can run yourself back."

Cai looked up and gave Valek his best puppy-eyes. "Please?" He asked in a sugary voice.

Valek was about to respond when a servant came and gave Cai a glass of water. "Why thank you." Cai told the servant smugly.

Valek stared at Cai. "How are you planning on getting back?" He asked.

Cai shrugged. "The same way I got here, I suppose."

"You intend on running all the way back with Ayden hanging off your shoulders?"

"Yup." Cai smiled.

Valek shook his head, Cai was hopeless. "How did you guys not know you left Ayden behind? I thought you all were mind-linked."

"I wasn't paying attention. I suppose Vivian knew, that's probably why she kept asking me if Ayden was really in the carriage." Cai shrugged.

"So how did you finally realize Ayden wasn't there?" Yelena asked.

"Vivian made us stop on the edge of the woods and told me to look in the carriage very carefully." Cai said sheepishly.

Valek shook his head. "You two should not have children." He said very seriously.

"Oh, lighten up." Cai slapped Valek's shoulder. "Everything is fine. Ayden is fine. We're all good." He grinned.

"Fine. But there has to be an easier way to get back to Vivian. You can't simply waltz through Ixia with Ayden attached to your back." Yelena said.

"Why not? It's good exercise!"

"Please do not reason with him." Valek said to Yelena. "You'll only give yourself a headache."

Yelena ignored him. "Don't you have other methods of transportation? We can give you a horse…"

"No we can't." Valek cut in. "Walk through fire, Cai. Your soldiers can do it; you should be able to, as well."

Cai thought over it for a minute. "Well, I can. But that requires Vivian to have a fire ready for me to appear in on the other side. Plus, I can't walk through fire without burning my clothes off."

"Knowing Vivian, she has a fire ready. And don't worry about popping up in the nude. She's likely prepared for that too; if not, it's not a big deal since you don't have much dignity to lose anyway." Valek responded sharply.

"Ouch." Cai finally frowned. "What crawled up your butt and died?"

"You left you kid here." Valek said, exasperatedly. "Does that mean nothing to you? What would you like me to do? Congratulate you and kiss your feet?"

Cai sighed. "Relax." He dug into his pocket and pulled out a bag of small leaves. "Here. Chew some of this and it will help you."

Valek looked at the bag disbelievingly. "Really? Now you're trying to give me drugs? You don't think I know coca leaves when I see them?"

"Just try them." Cai encouraged and then went in the castle entrance where a scone was lit up with fire. He murmured some words and held his son close before running the flame over both their bodies.

"What is he doing?" Yelena cried, reaching forward to stop Cai.

"Relax. He knows what he's doing this time." Valek wrapped an arm around her comfortingly. When he saw Yelena still tense, he pulled a leaf out of the bag. "Here, eat this, it'll help you relax."

Yelena gave him the dirty eyeball but still ate the leaf. Her eyes lit up. "Oh, mint! This is good."

Valek frowned and looked into the bag. There wasn't mint in there, he knew for sure. But when he looked more closely, he realized that Cai had stuffed mint leaves in the bag and simply put a few coca leaves on top to mess with Valek. He shook his head. Cai had tricked him. Perhaps he wasn't a hopeless case after all.

"I'll miss them." Yelena said finally.

"Hm…if you try, maybe you can convince me to go visit." Valek winked.

YEAY! IT'S OVAAAARRR! PLEASE REVIEW AND TELL ME IF YOU LIKED THE ENDING. THERE PROBABLY WON'T BE A SEQUEL OR ANY OUTTAKES. I'M THINKING ABOUT ANOTHER STORY BUT LETS BE HONEST, IT'S GONNA TAKE ME A WHILE.

OH, BTW, COCA LEAVES ARE THE LEAVES USED TO MAKE COCAINE. ISN'T THAT EXCITING? I COULDN'T HAVE CAI GIVE VALEK COCAIN STRAIGHT UP SINCE IT WAS WASN'T EXTRACTED FROM THE PLANT UNTIL 1855, UNFORTUNATELY. BUT WIKI SAYS THAT THE LEAVES STILL WORK ;)

TTFN, LOVLIES! REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW!